English Language Development
There are at least 71 languages and dialects spoken in the district in addition to English: Afrikaans, American Sign Language, Arabic, Armenian, Aymara, Azeri, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Benin, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Cape Verdean Creole, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, Fukien, Fulani, Garifuna, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Jamaican Creole, Japanese, Kannada, Konkani, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Maltese, Mandarin, Maradi, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Shanghainese, Shona, Sierra Leonean Krio, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sourashtra, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tulu, Turkish, Twi, Ukrainian, Urdu, Visayan, Welsh, and Yoruba.
We want to help each student in our English Language Development program to reach their full potential. We want to nurture our students' pride in their linguistic and cultural heritage, instruct them in social and academic English, and teach them about American cultural practices and perspectives. In partnership with you, the families, we want to encourage students to maintain and develop their native or heritage languages outside of school so that they can become fully bilingual or multilingual. We hope that our students will become multilingual and multicultural life-long learners and valuable contributors to the American and greater global societies.
Our English Language Development (ELD) program follows a model called SEI (Sheltered English Immersion.) All instruction is delivered in English. Students in our program are placed with classroom teachers who have studied teaching strategies that work particularly well with students who are learning English. For example, these teachers might use more photographs and diagrams in their lessons to help students understand what they are talking about.
Most of the day, English Learner (EL) students are in the same classrooms as their native English-speaking peers, studying Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Math. In addition to these classes, EL students also work with an ELD teacher to learn the English language skills they need to succeed in school.
ELD teachers work with students individually or in small groups. We usually meet in a small ELD classroom but sometimes work with the student right at their desk or in a corner of their big classroom. ELD classes focus on English language Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills. We use research-based methods that help students to learn English while developing complex mental skills such as problem-solving, evaluating different opinions, and discussing their ideas.
Every person learns languages at a different speed. It is impossible to predict exactly how long a student will remain in the ELD program because every student begins at a different starting point and learns differently. Many students enter our program in kindergarten and exit the program by 3rd or 4th grade. If a student remains in our program for longer, it does not mean that there is any sort of problem.
When a student qualifies to leave the ELD program, we continue to communicate with their teachers and make sure that they're succeeding in their classes for 4 years. In rare cases, if a student is having a lot of trouble in their classes and we think it is because the English is hard for them, we can re-enter them into the ELD program.
If you have questions about what your child's ELD classes are like, please ask. We love to talk with families, learn more about you, and answer your questions.